• GCPS Re-Opening

    Frequently Asked Questions

     

    Return to Learn Q & A

     

    Updated as of 11/11/2020

     

    Who will take over for the bus drivers who might get sick?


    We currently have substitute drivers who could take over if a bus driver got sick. We have
    mechanics who have their CDLs and can provide relief for sick drivers also. Fewer students may
    need to be transported with a Hybrid schedule because a segment of the student population will be
    receiving instruction virtually. Students attending in-person classes would be on an A or B rotation
    which would assist with managing the number of drivers we will need to use.


    What will happen to students on the bus in which a driver was sick?


    The Transportation Department/School Division will follow the protocol as recommended by the CDC
    and the Health Department.
    What buses will be driven once other buses are taken out of service because of exposure?
    Spare buses that have been disinfected will be available for use to replace buses that have exposed.
    Will students have their temperatures taken before entering the buildings?
    Yes, all persons entering a school or division office will be required to have their temperature taken.
    Will students and staff be required to wear face masks when in school buildings?
    Per CDC guidelines face coverings (i.e. cloth, disposable) are most important to wear in times
    when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Schools will have other prevention strategies in
    place (e.g. health screenings, physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols, limits
    on gatherings, etc.).
    Face coverings should be worn by staff in times when at least 6 feet physical distancing cannot be
    maintained. During meetings or gatherings or in narrow hallways or other settings where physical
    distancing may not be easy to maintain, a face covering would be prudent to wear.

    What is the cleaning process?

    Contract custodial staff (SSC) are responsible for keeping schools clean. SSC staff are
    responsible for:
    ∙ disinfecting all touch points and work spaces,
    ∙ sanitizing all eating areas a minimum of four times per day, actively addresses cleaning
    in occupied areas
    ∙ checking and restocking hand sanitizer stations throughout the day,
    ∙ disinfecting restrooms throughout the day.
    Process for Special Cleaning: Areas suspected of COVID-19 exposure
    GCPS has purchased electronic static sprayers and aerosol disinfectant foggers to remediate areas
    that could have been contaminated with COVID-19. Below is the process for treating the
    contaminated areas.
    ∙ A request will be generated listing specific areas that need disinfecting.
    ∙ Any areas having been exposed to the virus will be cleaned by our contracted
    cleaning company SSC.
    ∙ As per recommendation of the CDC, SSC will clean isolated rooms within 24 hours after
    area exposure.
    ∙ If exposure is in common areas, SSC will disinfect immediately.
    ∙ An electrostatic sprayer or a canned fog bomb containing an EPA rated virucide will be
    utilized initially and a wipe down with virucide will be done once fogged.


    Who will provide instruction in the event that a teacher is sick?


    Substitute teachers will provide instruction to students in the absence of the regular teacher.

     


    How will all the kids in their classes now fit in the classroom with all the 6 feet space from
    each other?
    Class sizes will be limited to ensure social distancing (6 ft). Per board approval, students who opted
    for in-person/hybrid learning will be divided into two groups. Group A will receive in-person
    instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays and independent learning on Wednesdays, Thursdays and
    Fridays; Group B will receive in-person instruction on Thursdays and Fridays and independent
    learning on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Buildings will be closed on Wednesdays for
    cleaning.


    Does every child have to be tested for Covid-19 and test negative before they can attend
    school?


    No.

    Why did GCPS choose virtual learning?


    Dr. Evans presented data from parent and staff surveys, local and state COVID-19 health statistics,
    guidance from the Governor, VDH, VDOE, the Crater Region Health District, and information from
    the GCPS Return to Learn Taskforce to the board.  The taskforce presented two options for the
    board’s consideration:  virtual learning for the first 9 weeks for elementary students and the first semester for secondary students or 1 day per week in-person hybrid.  The board voted to return to
    learn virtually for the first 9 weeks for all students.


    How will GCPS provide meals to students when the school year begins with virtual learning?


    GCPS has provided meals for students throughout the closure and summer.  When the school year
    begins on September 8 with virtual learning for all students, the national school lunch program starts
    back up to provide free meals (breakfast and lunch) to students.  As we continue to plan for the
    opening, we are assessing students’ needs and school schedules and will make adjustments to
    meal distributions.


    Could school buses and drivers be deployed to deliver food to homes or closer than the
    current distribution sites?


    We are currently planning to follow the school bus routes for delivery of meals.  Because the county
    is so widespread, door-to-door delivery will be challenging.  The number of students requiring meal
    service, will determine how the meals are distributed.


    What is the criteria that will be considered in making a decision to move from virtual to hybrid
    learning?


     A variety of data points will be used to make that decision.  Those data points fall into the area of
    operational, health, and safety considerations; including (but not limited to) local, regional, and
    national COVID-19 health data (community spread rate, number of positive cases, hospitalizations,
    and death rates) and local, state, and federal health and educational guidance.


     How does the full-time virtual learning model differ from the virtual learning students
    received at the end of the year?


     The full-time virtual learning model will be very different from what was offered at the end of the
    year.  In the full-time model for all students:
    ● Students will receive interactive, teacher led/synchronous instruction four days per week –
    Monday – Thursday. Teachers will interact with students daily Monday – Thursday.
    ● Classes will follow a daily schedule similar to a normal school day.
    ● New instructional content will be taught, work will be graded, and attendance will be taken.
    ● Students will have opportunities for small-group work with teachers and peers.
    ● All students in grades PreK-12 will be issued devices (Chromebooks for grades 2 – 12 and
    iPads for PreK and K).
    ● Comprehensive specialized services for English Learners, Special Education and Gifted
    students will be provided.
    ● Resources will be offered for parents
     When does the 1 st  nine weeks end?
     The end of the 1 st  nine weeks is November 10.


    Will there be an open house?

     Yes, elementary schools will host a drive-thru open house and secondary schools will host a virtual
    open house for students prior to students returning to school.  Additional information will be shared
    by each principal.


     Will Homebound and Homebased services be provided?


     Due to the lack of control of all variables in the home setting, we are unable to implement a safe
    plan to send service providers into students’ homes at this time.  Homebound and Homebased
    services will be provided virtually.
     How will skills that were not taught at the end of the year be taught in the new year?
     The essential skills and knowledge that was not covered during the spring will be incorporated
    throughout the 2020-2021 school year.


     Will sports be played during the upcoming year?


     VHSL has voted to delay the start of the 2020-2021 high school sports season by implementing a
    compressed sports schedule that would run, as of now, from December 14 – June 26.  The schedule
    below is the tentative seasons start and end dates:
     
    ● Season 1 (Winter) Dec. 14 – Feb. 20 (First contest date – December 28) – Basketball,
    Gymnastics, Indoor Track, Swim/Dive, Wrestling
    ● Season 2 (Fall) Feb. 15 – May 1 (First contest date – March 1) – Cheer, Cross Country, Field
    Hockey, Football, Golf, Volleyball
    ● Season 3 (Spring) Apr. 12 – Jun. 26 (First contest date – April 26) – Baseball, Lacrosse,
    Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field
     These dates are subject to change!
     
    How will G-Force be impacted?


    The music education portion of the band curriculum will continue as normal for students in band
    classes.  Additionally, students who are in various ensembles will continue to learn and grow
    virtually.  The performance portion of the bands will be impacted due to the delay of the high school
    sports season and cancellations of expected events.


     How will GCPS provide special education services with virtual learning at the start of the
    school year?


    IEP and 504 teams will meet to adjust services to align with virtual instruction.  Special education
    eligibility assessments and re-evaluations will continue to be conducted in a virtual format (as we did
    this summer).  Instruction will be provided that aligns with students’ IEP services and goals, as well
    as small group instruction within the general education virtual classroom.  Progress will be monitored
    on an ongoing basis to identify successes and opportunities to intensify support, if needed. 
    Teletherapy will be used to deliver related services such as counseling, speech, occupational
    therapy, and physical therapy.

     How will instruction be delivered at the start of the school year in the virtual learning model
    for students who are English Learners?


     English Learners will receive interactive, synchronous instruction four days per week, which will
    focus on English language development (based on WIDA standards) and content attainment (based
    on Virginia Standards of Learning).  Students will have opportunities to use the four language
    domains (reading, writing, speaking, listening), receive new instructional content, and student work
    will be graded.  EL teachers will collaborate and co-teach with grade level teachers and provide pull-
    out instruction.


     Where can students and families get help with a technology question or the devices that will
    be provided?


     Each school and the Department of Technology will share information with families about how the
    school will distribute devices to students.  For technical questions, you can call the Tech Hotline at
    434-634-6681.


     What steps will GCPS take to ensure all students have access to the needed technology for
    virtual learning?


     We are committed to ensuring all students have a device and access to reliable internet at home. 
    For the 2020-21 school year, GCPS is providing all students with a device.  We will provide hotspots
    (on a first come first served basis) for students who need them.  We are supporting Greensville
    County in seeking a grant with Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (Empower) to apply for VATI funds
    for the installation of broadband in areas along Highway 301 North that are currently underserved.


     How will GCPS support students’ mental health and well-being?


    GCPS has SEL embedded in its curriculum through Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports, The Profile
    of a Virginia Graduate, Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning, and Health and Education
    Standards of Learning. This tiered guide can help strengthen a positive and nurturing return to
    learning.
    Social Emotional Learning
    ●         Tier I represents a universal approach to ensure that all students experience a safe,
    supportive environment and receive high-quality core academic instruction and prevention-
    focused systems that promote positive behavior. School counselors will provide evidence-
    based supports based on the needs of the entire student population, which are then made
    available to all students.
    ●         Tier II provides targeted, evidence-based academic and behavioral supports to
    students for whom Tier I supports are insufficient. These supports include small-group
    interventions facilitated by the Intervention Specialist. Students will have to be referred for
    Tier II support. Additional assistance/mental health consultation can be provided by the
    School Social Worker, School Psychologist or School Counselor.
    ●         Tier III provides highly intensive and individualized academic and behavioral support to
    students for whom Tier I and Tier II supports are insufficient. These supports may be
    provided by School Social Worker, School Psychologist, School Counselor or Mental Health
    Counselor. Students will have to be referred for Tier III support. Parents will have the
    opportunity to schedule a social/emotional session face to face or virtually with the
    school counselor and/or school social worker.

     Mental Health and Well-Being
    Mental health supports for students include a tiered approach:
    ●         Teachers have embedded skills that include breaks, coping strategies, and brain breaks
    into their instructional practices.
    ●         Opportunities for virtual/in-person class lessons on topics surrounding anxiety,
    engagement in learning, motivation, coping skills, social skills, organizational skills etc.
    (cyber safety, anti-bullying, cyber bullying depression, and parent problems).

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Why did GCPS choose virtual learning?

     

    Dr. Evans presented data from parent and staff surveys, local and state COVID-19 health statistics, guidance from the Governor, VDH, VDOE, the Crater Region Health District, and information from the GCPS Return to Learn Taskforce to the board.  The taskforce presented two options for the board’s consideration:  virtual learning for the first 9 weeks for elementary students and the first semester for secondary students or 1 day per week in-person hybrid.  The board voted to return to learn virtually for the first 9 weeks for all students.

     

    How will GCPS provide meals to students when the school year begins with virtual learning?

     

    GCPS has provided meals for students throughout the closure and summer.  When the school year begins on September 8 with virtual learning for all students, the national school lunch program starts back up to provide free meals (breakfast and lunch) to students.  As we continue to plan for the opening, we are assessing students’ needs and school schedules and will make adjustments to meal distributions.

     

    Could school buses and drivers be deployed to deliver food to homes or closer than the current distribution sites?

     

    We are currently planning to follow the school bus routes for delivery of meals.  Because the county is so widespread, door-to-door delivery will be challenging.  The number of students requiring meal service, will determine how the meals are distributed.

     

    What is the criteria that will be considered in making a decision to move from virtual to hybrid learning?

     

    A variety of data points will be used to make that decision.  Those data points fall into the area of operational, health, and safety considerations; including (but not limited to) local, regional, and national COVID-19 health data (community spread rate, number of positive cases, hospitalizations, and death rates) and local, state, and federal health and educational guidance.

     

    How does the full-time virtual learning model differ from the virtual learning students received at the end of the year?

     

    The full-time virtual learning model will be very different from what was offered at the end of the year.  In the full-time model for all students:

    • Students will receive interactive, teacher led/synchronous instruction four days per week – Monday – Thursday. Teachers will interact with students daily Monday – Thursday.
    • Classes will follow a daily schedule similar to a normal school day.
    • New instructional content will be taught, work will be graded, and attendance will be taken.
    • Students will have opportunities for small-group work with teachers and peers.
    • All students in grades PreK-12 will be issued devices (Chromebooks for grades 2 – 12 and iPads for PreK and K).
    • Comprehensive specialized services for English Learners, Special Education and Gifted students will be provided.
    • Resources will be offered for parents

     

    When does the 1st nine weeks end?

     

    The end of the 1st nine weeks is November 10.

    Will there be an open house?

     

    Yes, elementary schools will host a drive-thru open house and secondary schools will host a virtual open house for students prior to students returning to school.  Additional information will be shared by each principal.

     

    Will Homebound and Homebased services be provided?

     

    Due to the lack of control of all variables in the home setting, we are unable to implement a safe plan to send service providers into students’ homes at this time.  Homebound and Homebased services will be provided virtually.

     

    How will skills that were not taught at the end of the year be taught in the new year?

     

    The essential skills and knowledge that was not covered during the spring will be incorporated throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

     

    Will sports be played during the upcoming year?

     

    VHSL has voted to delay the start of the 2020-2021 high school sports season by implementing a compressed sports schedule that would run, as of now, from December 14 – June 26.  The schedule below is the tentative seasons start and end dates:

     

    • Season 1 (Winter) Dec. 14 – Feb. 20 (First contest date – December 28) – Basketball, Gymnastics, Indoor Track, Swim/Dive, Wrestling
    • Season 2 (Fall) Feb. 15 – May 1 (First contest date – March 1) – Cheer, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Volleyball
    • Season 3 (Spring) Apr. 12 – Jun. 26 (First contest date – April 26) – Baseball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field

     

    These dates are subject to change!

     

    How will G-Force be impacted?


    The music education portion of the band curriculum will continue as normal for students in band classes.  Additionally, students who are in various ensembles will continue to learn and grow virtually.  The performance portion of the bands will be impacted due to the delay of the high school sports season and cancellations of expected events.

     

    How will GCPS provide special education services with virtual learning at the start of the school year?

     

    IEP and 504 teams will meet to adjust services to align with virtual instruction.  Special education eligibility assessments and re-evaluations will continue to be conducted in a virtual format (as we did this summer).  Instruction will be provided that aligns with students’ IEP services and goals, as well as small group instruction within the general education virtual classroom.  Progress will be monitored on an ongoing basis to identify successes and opportunities to intensify support, if needed.  Teletherapy will be used to deliver related services such as counseling, speech, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

     

    How will instruction be delivered at the start of the school year in the virtual learning model for students who are English Learners?

     

    English Learners will receive interactive, synchronous instruction four days per week, which will focus on English language development (based on WIDA standards) and content attainment (based on Virginia Standards of Learning).  Students will have opportunities to use the four language domains (reading, writing, speaking, listening), receive new instructional content, and student work will be graded.  EL teachers will collaborate and co-teach with grade level teachers and provide pull-out instruction.

     

    Where can students and families get help with a technology question or the devices that will be provided?

     

    Each school and the Department of Technology will share information with families about how the school will distribute devices to students.  For technical questions, you can call the Tech Hotline at 434-634-6681.

     

    What steps will GCPS take to ensure all students have access to the needed technology for virtual learning?

     

    We are committed to ensuring all students have a device and access to reliable internet at home.  For the 2020-21 school year, GCPS is providing all students with a device.  We will provide hotspots (on a first come first served basis) for students who need them.  We are supporting Greensville County in seeking a grant with Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (Empower) to apply for VATI funds for the installation of broadband in areas along Highway 301 North that are currently underserved.

     

    How will GCPS support students’ mental health and well-being?

    GCPS has SEL embedded in its curriculum through Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports, The Profile of a Virginia Graduate, Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning, and Health and Education Standards of Learning. This tiered guide can help strengthen a positive and nurturing return to learning.

    Social-Emotional Learning

    •         Tier I represents a universal approach to ensure that all students experience a safe, supportive environment and receive high-quality core academic instruction and prevention-focused systems that promote positive behavior. School counselors will provide evidence-based supports based on the needs of the entire student population, which are then made available to all students.
    •         Tier II provides targeted, evidence-based academic and behavioral supports to students for whom Tier I supports are insufficient. These supports include small-group interventions facilitated by the Intervention Specialist. Students will have to be referred for Tier II support. Additional assistance/mental health consultation can be provided by the School Social Worker, School Psychologist or School Counselor.
    •         Tier III provides highly intensive and individualized academic and behavioral support to students for whom Tier I and Tier II supports are insufficient. These supports may be provided by School Social Worker, School Psychologist, School Counselor or Mental Health Counselor. Students will have to be referred for Tier III support. Parents will have the opportunity to schedule a social/emotional session face to face or virtually with the school counselor and/or school social worker.

     Mental Health and Well-Being

    Mental health supports for students include a tiered approach:

    •         Teachers have embedded skills that include breaks, coping strategies, and brain breaks into their instructional practices.
    •         Opportunities for virtual/in-person class lessons on topics surrounding anxiety, engagement in learning, motivation, coping skills, social skills, organizational skills etc. (cyber safety, anti-bullying, cyber bullying depression, and parent problems).